VOGONS


Reply 20 of 56, by pc-sound-legacy

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-10, 01:17:

Found a driver by searching around typing "Mediaforte Soundforte 32 Wave Table Synthesizer", thanks to Shreddoc mentioning that "VSoundforte" was a typo. It has three folders which were supposed to be floppy disks. There is a DOS executable called SF32WAV.EXE located on DISK1 folder which is for use with that ICS wavetable synth.

The name of the file implies that is simply SB16 drivers but it is misleading.

Awesome! That's exactly what I needed. Together with the obviously correct standard jumper settings from above and these drivers, it finally works! This community is gold - thank you guys👍
The file you mentioned - SF32WAV.EXE - was the solution to get the wavetable running. As soon as I have made some records with this card I'll share them with you in a further video.

We should upload the driver package to vogonsdrivers for preservation - this sure will help others with this card. (Maybe together with a picture of the standard jumper settings). It sure will work with both the Mediaforte SF-16 and SF-32-WAVE.

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Reply 21 of 56, by Shreddoc

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pc-sound-legacy wrote on 2022-04-10, 15:32:
Awesome! That's exactly what I needed. Together with the obviously correct standard jumper settings from above and these drivers […]
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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-10, 01:17:

Found a driver by searching around typing "Mediaforte Soundforte 32 Wave Table Synthesizer", thanks to Shreddoc mentioning that "VSoundforte" was a typo. It has three folders which were supposed to be floppy disks. There is a DOS executable called SF32WAV.EXE located on DISK1 folder which is for use with that ICS wavetable synth.

The name of the file implies that is simply SB16 drivers but it is misleading.

Awesome! That's exactly what I needed. Together with the obviously correct standard jumper settings from above and these drivers, it finally works! This community is gold - thank you guys👍
The file you mentioned - SF32WAV.EXE - was the solution to get the wavetable running. As soon as I have made some records with this card I'll share them with you in a further video.

We should upload the driver package to vogonsdrivers for preservation - this sure will help others with this card. (Maybe together with a picture of the standard jumper settings). It sure will work with both the Mediaforte SF-16 and SF-32-WAVE.

That's great news, glad it works!

Look forward to hearing it on your Youtube channel. Cool collection of niche and rare wavetables you have there.

Reply 23 of 56, by Gmlb256

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pc-sound-legacy wrote on 2022-04-10, 15:32:

Awesome! That's exactly what I needed. Together with the obviously correct standard jumper settings from above and these drivers, it finally works! This community is gold - thank you guys👍
The file you mentioned - SF32WAV.EXE - was the solution to get the wavetable running. As soon as I have made some records with this card I'll share them with you in a further video.

We should upload the driver package to vogonsdrivers for preservation - this sure will help others with this card. (Maybe together with a picture of the standard jumper settings). It sure will work with both the Mediaforte SF-16 and SF-32-WAVE.

You're welcome!

That card is interesting and obscure that it was worth the effort for searching the drivers. Sadly I don't have an account on VOGONS drivers to upload it there. 🙁

Reply 24 of 56, by dionb

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2022-04-09, 20:54:

[...]

It isn't, no EMU8K chip onboard. 😉

Indeed, not an exact clone, but definitely aiming for the same target audience. I'd almost argue that the ICS sounds better than Emu8k in many cases. But ICS aside, this looks impressively similar to the CT3930, just with a few extra CD Rom options.

I do wonder about those SIMM slots. Most ICS2115V cards just use ROM, but it certainly can work with RAM (see TB Maui). Would this be able to use Creative Sound Fonts? In any case the driver/init software is crucial. Hope somebody dredges it up.

Edit:
There was another page and driver has been dredged 😀

Interested in the sound (though I suspect it will by default sound exactly like say the Aztech MMSN826) but particularly in what options you have with the RAM.

Reply 25 of 56, by Babasha

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This topic maybe usefull, there DOS utility for soundfont/patch uploading

Project: Turning ICS WaveFront sound cards into MIDI Powerhouses for DOS games [Turtle Beach Maui, Tropez & Tropez+]

Need help? Begin with photo and model of your hardware 😉

Reply 26 of 56, by 640K!enough

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dionb wrote on 2022-04-10, 22:10:

I'd almost argue that the ICS sounds better than Emu8k in many cases.

As far as I remember, the WaveFront used its own bank format, and it is not interchangeable with Creative's SoundFont format. Most of the WaveFront cards I remember reading about used the Voice Crystal 2.0 GM bank (usually 4MiB), so I expect that it would sound better than the default ROM bank Creative was using on their cards of the time (mostly 1 or 2MiB, and rather poor at that).

Reply 27 of 56, by FioGermi

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WaveFront...isn't that the same chip on the original Aztech Waverider 32? That midi sounded like a diet Gravis Ultrasound to my ears. Try it with Doom/Doom2, some of the instruments are exactly the same as GUS.

So did they license that from Gravis?

Reply 28 of 56, by Tiido

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GF1 chip on GUS is manufactured by ICS and other ICS chips show clear lineage, with many similar or same bits. It is not surprising there are gonna be same sounds etc. as they likely all came from same team.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 29 of 56, by 640K!enough

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FioGermi wrote on 2022-04-12, 06:04:

That midi sounded like a diet Gravis Ultrasound to my ears.

Your ears are definitely not wrong. The original GF1-based UltraSound cards shipped with the version 1.0 Voice Crystal GM bank (5.6 MiB), while many WaveFront-based designs shipped with version 2.0 (usually 4 MiB) of the same instrument set. In both cases, it is a sound set licensed from Eye & I Productions.

Reply 31 of 56, by Pickle

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So what can you run from the sim memory slots? Im just confused is the memory for GUS or for AWE32 functions?
Seems like it would be 2 mb for GUS soundbanks?

Seems like the perfect all around card for the time period. SB16 + OPL + MIDI + waveblaster header

Reply 32 of 56, by mkarcher

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Pickle wrote on 2022-04-14, 22:19:

So what can you run from the sim memory slots? Im just confused is the memory for GUS or for AWE32 functions?

AWE32 is mainly an EMU8000 synthesizer (and chorus/reverb effect) chip exposed to direct control by the host processor. As your "strange soundcard" (as the title says) has an ICS wavetable synthesizer, and not an EMU8000 synthesizer, it doesn't have any AWE32 function. The name resembling the SB AWE32 or SB 32 is pure marketing and doesn't mean any compatibility with those cards (SB32 is just a cost-reduced version of the SB AWE32). So the extra SIMM memory is definitely for the ICS synthesizer, which ships with GUS-like samples.

The actual GUS had a synthesizer chip (the Gravis GF1) which was directly controlled by the host: The host tells the chip what samples to play at what speed and what volume to make some sound. The mapping from MIDI events to GF1 synthesizer settings is performed on the main CPU by a GUS-specific driver, possibly as part of MEGA-EM or SBOS, which are software MIDI interpreters that receive MIDI data sent to the MPU401 port address and make sample playback instructions from interpreting the MIDI data and send thend the playback settings to the GF1. This is a similar concept to the AWE32, which also doesn't understand MIDI itself, but "only" contains a host-controlled sample playback engine. On the other hand, your ICS wavetable based soundcard has a 68000 processor on the sound card that interprets MIDI data and programs the synthesize to play back the requested samples at the requested frequency and volume. The SIMM memory is to make extra memory available to that integrated wavetable synthesizer, which is neither an AWE32 nor a GUS/GF1.

EDIT: stroked out second paragraph, as that card doesn't have a 68000 processor. I don't know how MIDI works on that card.

Last edited by mkarcher on 2022-04-15, 16:39. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 33 of 56, by darry

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640K!enough wrote on 2022-04-12, 17:38:
FioGermi wrote on 2022-04-12, 06:04:

That midi sounded like a diet Gravis Ultrasound to my ears.

Your ears are definitely not wrong. The original GF1-based UltraSound cards shipped with the version 1.0 Voice Crystal GM bank (5.6 MiB), while many WaveFront-based designs shipped with version 2.0 (usually 4 MiB) of the same instrument set. In both cases, it is a sound set licensed from Eye & I Productions.

And one can still buy an SF2 format version of that bank on Eye & I Productions' website .

Reply 34 of 56, by Lennart

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I would also be very interested to know what you can do when you add some RAM to the card. I wonder whether you'd be able to upload the WFB sound banks that were intended for the Turtle Beach cards with the ICS WaveFront chip, like the Maui, Tropez, and Tropez+.

It's an interesting card indeed. I haven't seen the combination of a Vibra16 chip with an ICS WaveFront before, nor have I seen a WaveFront card with SIMM slots but without an on-board 68k processor.

Reply 35 of 56, by 640K!enough

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darry wrote on 2022-04-15, 09:17:

And one can still buy an SF2 format version of that bank on Eye & I Productions' website .

They are not the same bank at all; the sound is dramatically different. Starting with the version 3.0 release used on InterWave cards, they really went after the Roland-like volume balance and instrument dynamics. It was tweaked and balanced to the point of earning the Fat Seal of Approval, which became quite an important selling point of the time. Version 3.0 also had additional GS drum kits, which I believe were still lacking in the version 2.0 bank. The SF2 bank that is available now is from version 4.x, which I suspect was never submitted to Fat Labs, or was developed after the programme ended.

Reply 36 of 56, by darry

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640K!enough wrote on 2022-04-16, 03:29:
darry wrote on 2022-04-15, 09:17:

And one can still buy an SF2 format version of that bank on Eye & I Productions' website .

They are not the same bank at all; the sound is dramatically different. Starting with the version 3.0 release used on InterWave cards, they really went after the Roland-like volume balance and instrument dynamics. It was tweaked and balanced to the point of earning the Fat Seal of Approval, which became quite an important selling point of the time. Version 3.0 also had additional GS drum kits, which I believe were still lacking in the version 2.0 bank. The SF2 bank that is available now is from version 4.x, which I suspect was never submitted to Fat Labs, or was developed after the programme ended.

Thank you for the clarification .

I pretty much gave up on GF1 and Interwave MIDI playback a long time ago, when I transitioned to a DB60XG . Since then, I have still used the Gravis cards for tracker/demo playback and for the games that supported hardware mixing, but except for the occasional bout of nostalgia (MEGAEM, however useful it was back in the day, is a pain I can do without).

Anyway, long story short, I fell in love with the "latest" SF2 Voice Crystal Bank as rendered on an EMU8000 .

Reply 38 of 56, by Pickle

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@pc-sound-legacy in one of the previous links was a tool to upload WFB files to the ram. Have you happen to have tried anything in regards to the memory simms?
Seems it should support 8mb, but reading through the other thread seems there was a struggle to convert soundfonts to the WFB format. I did find some WFB in some of the Turtle beach drivers. So i wonder if they can be loaded on this card.

Reply 39 of 56, by Kahenraz

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Can you make a recording of the Duke Nukem 3D theme and, if possible, the human1 track from Warcraft 2? These and the E1M1 track from Doom are my go-to comparisons when it comes to FM and wavetable synthesis.

The samples on this card sound pretty good on the tracks that I'm unfamiliar with. I'm not pleased at all with how Doom E1M1 sounds, so now I'm especially curious how Duke 3D and Warcraft 2 will fare.